By Rajiv BisnauthFORMER West Indies Under-19 and Guyana Jaguars batsman Bhaskar Yadram was drafted by Windward Islands Volcanoes in the Cricket West Indies (CWI) 2019/20 Professional Cricket League (PCL)The Guyanese was one of two overseas players selected at the draft that was held in April at the Corporate Headquarters in Antigua.The 19-year-old, who played two first-class matches for Jaguars in the 2017/18 season, has not been active regionally recently, but continues to ply his trade with Cricket Guyana Inc’s (CGI) Academy Franchise League.However, Chronicle Sport caught up with the attractive stroke player yesterday, who voiced his ‘surprise’ at securing a contract for the region’s premier first class tournament.‘It was a bit of a surprise, if I’m honest,’ he told Chronicle Sport. “It’s very much important for me because I’ve been a part of the Guyana set up and was just waiting for an opportunity which I am hoping to make full use of.”.The right-handed batsman insists he wants to ‘showcase his talent’ and learn ‘as much as possible. “I am looking forward to improving my cricket and become a better cricketer. I will be looking to get as many runs as I can, and look to take wickets also. So I’m going to go out there and learn as much as I can and hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to perform and show what I’m capable of.’Yadram, who also played eight List A games, and Test batsman Assad Fudadin, who was retained by the Jamaica Scorpions, are the two players plying their trade outside their home territory.Meanwhile, Vincentian cricketers Desron Maloney and Dillon Douglas are set to make their first class debut, after they were drafted in the Volcanoes’ 15-member squad.The two were among the five draft picks, joining the other ten “protected players”, who make up the squad.Maloney and Douglas earned their picks following creditable performances in the Windward Islands two-day tournament, which was staged here in St Vincent and the Grenadines earlier in the year.They, along with fellow Vincentian Kenneth Dember, St Lucian Larry Edward and Yadram, make up the five drafted players.The ten protected players of the Windward Islands Volcanoes are Sunil Ambris, Obed McCoy and Rya Jordan; Josh Thomas, Roland Cato, Sherman Lewis and Devon Smith – Grenada; Alick Athanaze and Kavem Hodge – Dominica, and Barbadian Kirk Edwards.The Windward Islands Volcanoes finished last in the six-team table in the 2018/2019 PCL.The Guyana Jaguars won the 2018/2019 PCL title for the fifth straight time. It is understood that the Super50 tournament will be played this November, followed by the Four-Day Championship commencing a month later.
Manchester United extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to 12 points with a routine victory over Everton at Old Trafford.Sir Alex Ferguson’s side took full advantage of champions Manchester City slipping up at Southampton on Saturday evening to open up a commanding gap as they go in search of their 20th title.United made few concessions to Wednesday’s last-16 Champions League meeting with Real Madrid in The Bernabeu as a strong starting line-up closed out another crucial win with few alarms.Real coach Jose Mourinho watched from Old Trafford’s directors’ box as Ryan Giggs scored for the 23rd successive top-flight season to give United an early lead and Robin van Persie added his 23rd goal of the season just before half-time.Everton never looked likely to repeat last season’s feat of clawing back a two-goal deficit to draw 4-4 at Old Trafford. That was a comeback that fatally damaged United’s title chances but this time they never seriously threatened such a shock.Manager David Moyes suffered a setback just before kick-off when experienced defender Sylvain Distin pulled out with a virus after feeling unwell in the warm-up, forcing the Scot to draft in John Heitinga after he struggled so badly in the 3-3 draw against Aston Villa. United should have taken an early lead when the pair combined to open up Everton’s readjusted rearguard. Wayne Rooney played in Van Persie, who rounded Everton keeper Tim Howard but proved his fallibility by striking the outside of an upright from the angle.Everton did not survive a second time shortly after when Van Persie escaped the ponderous Heitinga in the area to set up Giggs, who scored from 12 yards via the inside of a post.There was some hope for Everton as they enjoyed a spell of possession and Leon Osman brought a fine diving save from David De Gea with a 20-yard volley – but United struck crucially just before the interval to put the game out of reach.Everton had played a dangerous game as Van Persie was caught narrowly offside on a number of occasions but there was no flag to rescue the Merseysiders as he raced on to Rafael’s pass, evaded Howard once more and scored despite Heitinga’s best efforts on the line.Play mediaThe second half meandered tamely until the 65th minute when United’s Jonny Evans was blocked three times in a goalmouth scramble, twice by Howard, who then saved spectacularly from Tom Cleverley. It had been a relatively subdued affair but there was a burst of action as Van Persie screwed an effort wide at one end then Everton substitute Nikica Jelavic’s low shot brought De Gea into the action.Old Trafford was emptying long before referee Mark Halsey’s final whistle and this increasingly looks like the weekend when United took an unassailable lead over their title rivals.
Go back to the e-newsletterHawai’i Tourism Oceania has launched its first ever consumer brand campaign, spreading aloha direct to Australian travellers. The dedicated digital brand campaign aims to build greater awareness of the different Hawaiian Islands and encourage visitors to spend more time, and travel more widely within the destination.Hawai’i Tourism Oceania Country Manager Australia, Kerri Anderson, said that paradise was more than a picture postcard scene: “It’s a state of mind that starts with ‘aloha’, the spirit of the Hawaiian Islands that shines through in the welcoming smiles, friendly gestures and stories of Hawai’i handed down from generation to generation. With the help of popular culture, most Australians have some level of familiarity with Hawai’i and those who have been love the destination – in fact almost 45 percent of Australians who visit go back.“This campaign showcases the depth and breadth of experiences across the neighbour islands beyond sun, surf and sand by highlighting the dramatic geographical diversity, and also the great food, culture, history and range of experiences on each island. Where else in the world can you be relaxing on the beach in the morning, hiking to waterfalls by lunchtime and watching the sunset and stargazing from a snow-capped peak in the evening?”Ms Anderson said she was not surprised that the recently announced 2015 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index rated Hawaiian residents as having the highest overall well-being of any state in the United States.“Hawai’i is the happiest state in the US, and that is not only due to the natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands but the all-encompassing welcoming warmth and love shown by the people of Hawai’i that epitomises the Aloha Spirit,” she said. “Enjoyment, love, laughter and happiness are all very high on the priority list in Hawai’i and people who have travelled to the islands will understand this which is why they return again and again.”Ms Anderson said the “Paradise begins with Aloha” digital campaign took visitors on a virtual tour of the Hawaiian Islands, curating their own dream trip by selecting the experiences that appealed to them across the four main islands of of O‘ahu, Maui (incorporating the islands of Lāna‘i and Moloka‘i, Kaua‘i) and Hawai‘i, the Big Island.Encompassing everything from hiking the crater rim trail that circles the summit of Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes on Hawai’i, the Big Island; to taking a helicopter flight to see the spectacular waterfalls, forests and canyons on Kauai Island; absorbing the history, culture and thriving food and arts scene in downtown Honolulu and experiencing sunrise in the clouds at the top of Haleakala crater on Maui. After selecting their itinerary they will then be in the running to win a dream trip for four people including airfares and accommodation.Flight Centre was also chosen as a retail partner to provide a range of compelling deals.“The campaign also aims to push visitation during off-peak periods throughout the year,” Ms Anderson said. “We have just recorded our third consecutive record-breaking year of visitor growth and Australia is Hawai’i’s third largest international market so our aim is to keep these numbers growing, for both first time and repeat visitors.”Go back to the e-newsletter